By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

IMAG1671When Ben and Kimberly Peacock took over the wine portion of Tousey Winery's business in 2009 — Kimberly is founder Ray Tousey's daughter — the portfolio was focused on hybrid grapes. "To be frank, that didn't suit our tastes," Ben told me, adding "So, we switched our focus to vinifera."

To help make that switch, they've been working with Fox Run Vineyards winemaker Peter Bell in the winery and long-time Long Island grape grower Steve Mudd in their vineyards.

I've already written about the pinot noir, and after tasting the Tousey Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc ($22) — made from grapes grown by John Bruno at Oak Summit Vineyard — it's hard not to consider Tousey Winery a major player in the resurgence of quality wine in Hudson Valley.

Plummy, with crushed blackberries, tobacco leaf, subtle herbs, the nose also shows hints of brown sugar, milk chocolate and spice.

The medium-bodied palate is earthy and chocolatey with ripe dark fruit, some oak, and spice flavors. The tannins are soft, but provide just enough structure. The finish brings dried autumn leaves and lingers just a bit.

Producer: Tousey Winery
AVA: New York
ABV: 13% 
Price: $22*

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)